Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

U.S. House panel seeks grand jury evidence to assess Trump impeachment

The Democratic-led U.S. House Judiciary Committee asked a federal court on Friday for access to grand jury evidence from the Mueller probe that lawmakers say they need to determine whether to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. Democratic lawyers from the House of Representatives filed a 53-page petition in U.S. District Court seeking permission to review evidence involving interactions between Trump campaign officials and Russian agents, and Trump's alleged efforts to direct former White House Counsel Don McGahn to remove Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In Roundup case, U.S. judge cuts $2 billion verdict against Bayer to $86 million

A California judge on Thursday reduced a $2 billion jury verdict, slashing the award for a couple who blamed Bayer AG's glyphosate-based weed killer, Roundup, for their cancer to $86.7 million. Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith of the California Superior Court in Oakland said the jury's billion-dollar punitive damage awards were excessive and unconstitutional, but rejected Bayer's request to strike the punitive award outright.

Longshoremen union local's president charged in NY with bribery

The president of an International Longshoremen's Association branch in New Jersey was arrested on Friday and charged with accepting at least $150,000 of bribes over a decade from a company that employed some of its members. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said Glenn Blicht, who leads Local 1964 in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, demanded bribes in exchange for not pursuing arbitration claims against the unnamed employer, which cooperated with the probe.

Trump administration plan for Bears Ears slammed as 'recklessly' weakening protections

The Trump administration on Friday released a plan for the newly reduced Bears Ears National Monument that it says would protect the Utah site's cultural resources, but some Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups said the plan would leave sacred sites vulnerable to destruction. The Bureau of Land Management posted to the federal register the management plan for the Utah monument, which was created by former Democratic President Barack Obama in 2016 to protect Native American cultural and archaeological sites but reduced in size by 85% by Republican President Donald Trump in 2017 to open up the land to resource extraction, grazing, logging and vehicle use.

Alaska ferry workers, state try mediation to end strike

Alaska ferry workers and state officials were seeking a federal mediator's help on Saturday to end a strike that has disrupted travel during the peak summer tourist season. The strike, which started on Wednesday, has halted traffic for the Alaska Marine Highway System, the state-operated ferry system that serves 35 coastal towns, most of them without outside road access.

U.S. Supreme Court lets Trump use disputed funds for border wall

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday handed President Donald Trump a victory by letting his administration redirect $2.5 billion in money approved by Congress for the Pentagon to help build his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border even though lawmakers refused to provide funding. The conservative-majority court on a 5-4 vote with the court's liberals in dissent blocked in full a ruling by a federal judge in California barring the Republican president from spending the money on the basis that Congress did not specifically authorize the funds to be spent on the wall project fiercely opposed by Democrats and Mexico's government.

No 'day in court': U.S. deportation orders blindside some families

Carin, a 39-year-old subsistence farmer from Honduras, crossed the U.S.-Mexico border with her two sons late last year. They had fled after her political organizing led to threats of violence, she said, and intended to claim asylum. They were released on one condition: that they show up to immigration court when called.

Ethanol vs. environment: Democratic hopefuls campaign on clashing agendas

Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren is a champion of the corn-based ethanol industry when she campaigns in rural towns dotting the U.S. Farm Belt. But in Washington, the U.S. senator from Massachusetts is among the co-sponsors of the Green New Deal, which calls for the end of all fuel-powered cars – and, thus, the end of the domestic ethanol industry.

Trump says he expects Apple to announce it will build plant in Texas

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he wanted Apple Inc to build its plants in the United States and expects the technology firm to announce it will build one in Texas. Trump made the comment to reporters at the White House just hours after saying in a Twitter post that his administration would not grant Apple any tariff relief for Chinese-made parts for its Mac Pro computer. "Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!" he tweeted.

U.S. student confesses to killing Italian policeman: media

A 19-year-old U.S. student has confessed to killing a policeman in central Rome, in a crime that has shaken Italy, national news agency ANSA reported on Friday. Mario Cerciello Rega, an officer with the Carabinieri military police, was repeatedly stabbed early on Friday after trying to arrest two people suspected of stealing a bag from a man in a popular tourist district.